The Black Road

Tania Carver. Pegasus Crime (Norton, dist.), $25.95 (472p) ISBN 978-1-60598-584-8
At the start of British author Carver’s subpar fourth procedural (after 2013’s Cage of Bones), an explosion at a holiday cottage in Suffolk kills the father-in-law of newly married Essex police psychologist Marina Esposito and puts her police detective husband, Phil Brennan, into a coma. Meanwhile, someone kidnaps Marina’s three-year-old daughter, Josephina. Conventional subplots involve the tormented narrator of the prologue and the buildup to a predictably steamy relationship between Essex Det. Sgt. Mickey Phillips and Det. Constable Anni Hepburn, a friend of Marina’s. Marina must contend with a kinky-sex set of villains with an unconvincing motive for the kidnapping. Carver (the pseudonym of the husband-wife writing team of Martyn and Linda Waites) is better at evoking the grungy atmosphere of run-down English resort areas than she is at portraying the police as gatekeepers to the world of victims they try to provide with voices. Some readers may wish for deeper characterizations and less gore. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/09/2014
Release date: 08/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-1-60598-608-1
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